Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Nanoha StrikerS: Midchildan markets tumble. Towers, too.

Episode 16/17 was a grim day for The 6th MS Team (as well as Web 2.0, Sesame Street, and the Beastie Boys).

Nanoha StrikerS is in large part about growing the cast company, or just plain growing up. For the cast, there was plenty of growing up to be had by way of a thorough beat down. But continuing on with the corporate analogy, the startup days are over.

Non-stop confrontation is over. Do or die every episode, as a general rule, is over. Other people give the orders and impose crippling limits on their subordinates. A lot of the episodes have this comfortable, laid-back, secure desk job, feel. This might actually be because there are actual desk job scenes. Lots of them.

Training is just that. It's repetitive and progress is generally measured over weeks, if not months. I can appreciate training, but it's hard to make training scenes compelling to watch. Invariably all such scenes have, "Do this. Do that. Do this again. Here's a tip. Here's a new ability" ad nauseum.

When the characters involved in training don't totally suck but aren't absolutely brilliant either, it's doubly hard to watch with interest. There are no antics or mishaps from newbies, nor are there personality conflicts between n00bs and l33ts alike. Limbo characters just follow orders, over and over, and steadily get better. Their continued improvement is as assured as paint drying.

StrikerS episode 17: StradaAn elegant weapon for a more…civilized age

No doubt more consideration will be given to the replacement of our modern weapons with magical ones. It would have been nice if more information to that debate was offered up front in place of some of the training scenes. If nothing else, more office politics would have sufficed. Those teaser discussions between Gaiz and Auris brought nothing to the table, other than maybe Auris having a crisis of confidence (or conscience) in an elevator.

And finally, just some musings specific to episode 17.

Nanoha StrikerS episode 17: Choking in progressChoke MOAR

Okay Vice, I understand that you might be high off the fumes from burning plastics, asbestos, and stuffed toy rabbits, but real snipers shake off the hallucinations. Are you not a pro sniper? Apparently, not pro enough. I suppose when you're washed up, you're washed up, damaged goods, etc.

StrikerS episode 17: haxLocked on? Screw the rules, I have technology!

It's not quite aimbot, but just who is in charge here? How good of a sniper are you if you need your rifle to tell you when to fire? But still, they should have had a better reason for deploying a sniper. The dude was holding a knife. For mages with barrier jackets, what is a knife going to do? And there are people who can hover! Rappel (or hover) down from the side, swing in, apply a barrier to the kid (or apply flash bang), kick butt.

If Vice doesn't pick up his sniper rifle again or if Teana doesn't receive pointers, I'll be disappointed. It means a scene was wasted talking about his past, which could have been easily inferred from his conveniently timed flashback.

StrikerS episode 17: Thrust vectoringThis thing can turn on a dime, Macross Zero stylez!


Zeroblade said...

Indeed, I was thinking how convenient it was for Teana to talk about his past, only to have it referenced just an episode later.